When the Neosho R-5 School District officially began its search on Jan. 22, to fill the head football and softball coaching positions at Neosho High School, a swift and somewhat aggressive timeline was scheduled to find replacements.
Admittedly, there were some who wondered if the unofficial mid-February deadline would give them enough time to find the right candidate. Well, those fears appear to have subsided a great deal as interest in both jobs appears to be booming.
As of Thursday evening, the district had received 33 of what it called “quality applicants” for the head football position, and seven for softball. On the football side, the applicants consist of a mix of head coaches, assistants, and college assistant coaches from Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Texas and Michigan.
Prospective softball hires reign from Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas.
“We’re very excited,” Neosho Athletic Director Corey Roy said on Friday. “We’ve got between 30 and 40 applicants as of today. We’re very happy with the experience (of the applicants) we’ve got. We’ve got a lot of head coaches, we’ve also got experienced assistant coaches, and we’ve also got college assistant coaches, as well. We’ve had a lot just call about it and ask, too.
“We’re real excited about both positions, and going forward I think we were kind of nervous about the timeline being so quick and getting the right candidate, but I think we’ll definitely be OK with that timeline.”
Perhaps the new softball facility nearing completion behind George Washington Carver Elementary School, or the hiring of superintendent Dan Decker, has helped draw interest from all over the map. Regardless, those involved in the identification process are confident the district will be able to fill the positions with the right people.
“I think our new softball facility is a big pull for a lot of people,” Roy said. “I think people understand that we’ve got a lot of pieces to the puzzle. There are some things that we’ve got to work on of course, but there are things here and in place, and people see the potential.
“I think the hiring of our superintendent is a big plus,” he added. “A lot of people know him and what he stands for, and I think that has helped. (Coaches) know the community and they know it’s ripe for a lot of success, so I think we’ve seen that (factor) into a lot of interest.”
As the list of applicants continues to grow, the district has assembled its interview committee, which consists of NHS administration along with current head coaches and assistant coaches, with the intent on beginning the interview process late next week.